Three games into the 2010 baseball season, my favorite team, the Houston Astros, has a record of 0-3. It may be a historical fact that no team has ever finished the seaon with an 0-162 record, but somewhere in the dark recesses of the mind, a fan begins to wonder, "Could this be the year?"
What are the odds of a season with zero wins? I'm no mathematician but even I know they are fairly astronomical. There is an axiom in baseball that on any given day any given team can beat any other given team. And that's true. After all, there is another axiom in baseball (Baseball is full of axioms.) that it is a game of inches. That one is true, too.
So, all it takes are a few lucky bounces of the ball, an umpire expanding his strike zone by an inch, a strong puff of wind at just the right moment, an outfielder making a spectacular dive for a ball and catching it or missing it and having the ball roll all the way to the wall, the "winning" run sliding into home plate to be tagged out by the waiting catcher - so many combinations of things can go right (or wrong) in a baseball game that on any day, almost any outcome is possible.
Therefore, the chances are good that somewhere along the way, even though their play so far has been extremely uninspired and uninspiring, the Astros will actually win a game. It might even happen tomorrow night when they play their next game against the Phillies. I'll be watching and waiting to find out.